PN’s multifarious responsibilities, in social sector, are indeed laudable

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Salahuddin Haider

PAKISTAN’s armed forces have somehow been viewed through the prism of defence capabilities. Very little does the nation know that their social responsibilities are way ahead of its expectations. Army, being the largest of the three defense wings obviously bears the major brunt, in war and peace. Together in cohesion, whether, of artillery or infantry, missile technology its methodology of self-reliance is genuinely bring the nation’s pride.
Here, however, our focus is on Pakistan Navy, apart from major achievements in the field of self-reliance in military technology, the sailors have also done tremendous work in social uplift and well-being for populace living in coastal belt from Gwadar to Jiwani. Most of the population of coastal areas, comprising underprivileged community which has never been looked after in the past, is now being attended to and in a scientific way for last many years. Pakistan Navy has taken a lead role in this regard and is furnishing them with basic amenities i.e education, health etc.
Firing of weapon, missiles, live ammunition etc, part of PN’s maritime obligations, have all been its dire responsibility, but of tremendous interest to the general public, its social service—building schools, college, and above all a cadet college at Ormara at Mekran coast is doubly laudable. As a youngster, especially after the 1971 war, this scribe had the privilege of sailing to coastal belt of Balochistan, the most neglect province of the country, was happy to learn that Navy ships carried medical, doctors, and paramedics to backward areas and brought smiles on the faces of unluckyones. Balochistan, exploited by feudals, its own people who instead of developing their worthy land, neglected its mostly, filling their own coffers.
The vacuum was filled by Navy sailors and officers, like the army, under command of General Raheel Sharif, or General Qmar Bajwa, took great interest in rehabilitation of displaced persons, did in the not to distant past. Because of the Navy’s Herculean efforts, even lack of resources failed to stand in their way. Needless to say that Navy is not only doing a yeomen job, but is supplementing government efforts, which ought to be appreciated, and has won accolade from all and sundry. It has almost brought a literacy revolution in South-Western provinces. Slow start in the beginning, has gained moment and should soon see a huge leap upward. It has already assumed enormous proportions, bringing quite naturally a sea-change in the life style of the populace there.
It has woven a chain of schools, colleges, a cadet college for boys and girls, to as bounden duty to uplift the face of a province crying for attention for long. This scribe visited the area, and found enormous change. Merit and preference is the key word for admission to Baloch students, of both genders, , for realization, dawning upon country slowly that women being 50 percent of population, need to be readied to future responsibilities. The way young girls are showing keen interest in education uplift is really heartening. Pakistan Navy, apart from its fundamental obligations, has always endeavored to bring prosperity to backward belt of Balochistan.
The region has to flourish and stand shoulder to shoulder with other provinces in living and literacy standards. Realizing that low literacy rate has been the prime reason for stunted growth or backwardness of Balochistan PN’s efforts has been paying handsome dividends. Schools, colleges, are fully equipped with well trained teachers, science and computer labs, in academic professionalism, comparable to any modern schools in big cities with an aim to move forward. Details collected by this scribe amply shows heartening results as over 1500 local students are benefitting from these quality institutions.
A multi-purpose approach with emphasis on free education for talented and needy students, concessional fee, and transport facilities for pick-ups and drops, a Chief of the Naval staff-sponsored a child scheme, and ensuring them free uniform, stationery, and fees throughout the year. Also on priority is selecting Baloch students from remote areas for admission in Bahria schools, colleges in Karachi with free board and lodge. Collection of used books, bags, uniforms, from Bahria colleges/schools in Karachi and their free distribution to needy Baloch students, and above all the mission also aims at guiding the willing young students through pre-joining training courses to join Pakistan Navy.
Ormara Cadet College, established in 2013, is brimming with that ambition. Baloch students are not only being encouraged for admission, but are provided with enormous initiatives. This is a fact brilliant a sunshine. Declamation contests and science competitions held within Pakistan and outside have served the mission of their being ambassadors of goodwill abroad. The Ormara Bahria college, with a strength of more than 700 students is providing quality education to 70 percent locals as well as Naval wards since 2004. There are more than 40 faculty members, well equipped with science labs for physics, chemistry, biology, computers, dedicated library with book collection figuring at 2000. Results of the last five years have indeed been encouraging.
The Bahria Model schools at Jiwani and Turbat were founded in 2012 and 2015. Jiwani school at primary level with around 150 students and 10 teachers, while Turbat school has 200 entrants with qualified teachers for upto class 5. Pakistan Navy has also established Bahria Model School in Creeks at Gharo in 2018, where around 200 students are enrolled and getting free quality education. An Education Complex at Gwadar is planned on 16 acres of land. Master plan readied for this, comprises Bahria Model College, for boys and girls, special children school, vocational training centre, recruitment center, centralized auditorium, mosque and playfields.
Recently the new campus of Bahria Model College has been inaugurated at state-of-the-art building. Commander Coasts, Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gilani performed the inauguration. Bahria Model College, Gwadar was established with a humble faculty of 07 teachers and 35 students with a vision to provide quality contemporary education to the local students in a learning conducive environment. With this modest beginning, the college has grown over a span of few years to become the leading educational institution of Gwadar city. More than 550 students (both male and female) are currently enrolled at the college from various districts of Balochistan. The new campus building of BMC Gwadar is equipped with latest educational facilities and training aids. On this occasion, Vice Admiral Muhammad Fayyaz Gilani said that educational empowerment of local population of any area is a key to success.
The Commander Coast said that with construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a lot of new vistas are opening up for the people of Balochistan and to accrue benefits from these opportunities, coastal population should be equipped with quality education to take full advantage of the potentials offered by the fast materializing concept of Blue Economy. In short Navy is doing a yeomen service, and deserves nation’s appreciation.

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